What happens if your health care insurance expires? Does it mean you won’t have coverage anymore? Insurance companies auto-renew your subscription to the policy as long as you don’t cancel or renew the terms yourself. Yes, buying insurance is a complicated process, so when you’re already in one, it’s hard to switch to another one. It has become your comfort zone. You are not likely to go through the whole process of enrolling in another plan because you were dissatisfied with a few policies.
But there are valid reasons why you should think about switching plans. If your current plan stops covering your prescriptions and medication, such as iron supplements, you should think about looking for a better one. When it comes to a health insurance plan, the terms should fit you perfectly. Otherwise, you are wasting money on premiums.
Your Main Doctor Is No Longer an Affiliate
Doctors can change the insurance plans they accept every year. It’s best to call your doctors if there’s a chance that they changed plans already. There’s a lower out-of-pocket cost when you stay with an in-network doctor. So, if you like to keep checking in with particular specialists, make sure that they are still affiliated with your insurance provider.
Three options are open for you if your doctor will no longer accept your current insurance plan. The first option is to pay for out-of-network visits. The second option is to change doctors, and the third option is to switch health insurance plans. The first one is expensive, the second one is inconvenient for those who feel comfortable with their current doctors, and the last one is the most practical thing to do.
The Premiums Have Gone Up
Just because you’re automatically enrolled in the same insurance policy doesn’t mean you’re going to pay the same premium the year after. Some states have already reported that the prices of insurance premiums have gone up by 11%. Other things that can change—except for the terms in your policy—are the copay, deductibles, and coinsurance.
Change in Care Needs
Do you have the same medical care needs today compared to a year ago? If you paid for an expensive plan but rarely use it, you might be best with a less expensive one this year. And what about the network of doctors in your current plan? Are you satisfied with them? You can check out what kind of specialists other plans are offering, so you can have a better option.
Also, you need to look at any future medical care that you may need. If you are expecting, you have to look at the plan that will have access to the right doctors, prescriptions, hospitals, and procedures. Your current one may not fit your care needs anymore.
The Plan Is No Longer Being Offered in Your Area
Many insurance companies can change the geographic areas of their coverage. That is especially true for those enrolled in HealthCare.gov. What will happen is that your old insurance provider will automatically enroll you in a similar plan. But what precisely those similarities are will probably not be like your old plan. There will be a change in premium, coverage, and in-network doctors. The primary factor why your insurance provider chose this plan was because of the cost. It is rare for them to ensure you have the same coverage.
At the same time, you should also consider switching insurance plans if you’re moving to another state or city. Are you sure your current health plan still covers you even if you move away? It’s best to have an insurance policy with an in-network of doctors in your area.
Your Income Has Changed
If you are getting health insurance subsidies but will make more money this year, you’ll end up paying back the government in taxes. That is a significant amount of money because the subsidies will increase, too, as the plan’s prices increase. On the other hand, if you make less money, you have missed out on the opportunity to get government subsidies for your health care plan. You must evaluate your annual income each year before agreeing to a health insurance plan.
Are you now ready to switch to a new plan, or do you like to stay with your current one? There is always a level of discomfort when you are about to enter into a new contract. It’s akin to signing a new job contract. However, if you prepare well enough, you won’t need to worry about missing any detail.